Top 4 winter bird watching sites.
If you thought birdwatching took a back seat during the winter, then you’d be wrong.
Check out these four stunning winter locations that will keep you going until spring.
Strumble Head – for sea watching in Autumn and Winter
Watching from the “look out” anything is possible from September onwards, this is the best time of year for rare seabirds such as Sabine’s Gull, Leaches and Storm Petrels, Great, Cory’s, and Sooty Shearwater as well as the commoner seabirds such as Kittiwake, Guillemot, Razorbill, and the occasional Puffin.
Be mindful that there is little shelter and a lack of public facilities at this often wind swept location so you may require warm clothing and take your own food and hot flasks at this time of year.
Marloes Mere – for Winter duck and geese
Park at the National Trust Car park and view over the Mere, then walk to the two hides one on the North and one on the South to view a variety of duck on the open water. There is the chance to see large numbers of geese grazing in the fields here. A walk from here to the coast may be rewarded with views of Merlin, Peregrine Falcon and sometimes Chough.
There are no facilities on site so wrap up warm and take sturdy boots.
Llys –Y-Fran – for Grebes, Ducks and winter gull roosts
Park in the car park and walk the Eastern bank keeping an eye out for Grebes which in winter time will include Little, and Great Crested, but you may see Black Necked or Slavonian on the water. There is usually a huge Gull roost of mainly the larger gulls but also Black Headed gulls and the rarer white winged gulls such as Iceland and Glaucous gull.
The car park closes at dusk but most weekends the Café is open, adjacent to the car park.
Canaston Woodland – for estuary waders and woodland birds.
Park at the Forestry Commission car park just after Blackpool Mill and head for the view point, here you will encounter woodland species including Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit and Marsh Tit. In a hard winter you may be lucky to see Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. When you reach the view point, you will be overlooking the estuary, look out for Shelduck, Redshank, Teal, Curlew, Dipper, Kingfisher, and Grey Heron.
There are no facilities on site take warm and waterproof clothing and sturdy footwear is essential.
Remember to keep a record of your sightings and send them to the local county bird recorder, it helps them keep track of our wonderfully diverse bird life.
And don’t forget your binoculars!
Read more about birdwatching in Pembrokeshire